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Clinton Passes Leadership To Gore

August 15, 2000

MONROE, Mich. (AP) _ More fund-raising. Fights with Congress. Foreign travel. And a lower profile.

That’s Bill Clinton’s agenda now that he has passed the Democratic Party’s leadership to Al Gore and is eager to keep from overshadowing his vice president.

On the president’s immediate radar is a quick weekend vacation with his family in the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York.

Clinton, homeward-bound and bleary-eyed after just three hours sleep, visited with reporters Tuesday aboard Air Force One, then yielded to his chief of staff, John Podesta, who talked about the immediate future.

Short-term, Clinton is looking forward to watching the acceptance speeches that Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Gore will make at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, Podesta said.

``We’ll be watching TV,″ he said. ``We’ve got cable.″

Clinton will now let Gore call the political plays, Podesta said.

``We’re going to kick back a little bit, lay back a little bit and watch them do it,″ Podesta said, although adding that the president plans to still keep a ``robust″ fund-raising schedule for Democratic candidates, including Gore.

``The president has declared that he will do whatever the Gore-Lieberman team thinks would be helpful, but it’s their call,″ Podesta said. ``Ultimately, we’re looking to them to call the plays and we’ll play an appropriate role.″

Later this month, Clinton will travel to Nigeria and Colombia. In September, his focus likely will be on Capitol Hill.

``You know he has a full-time day job and we’ve got a lot of important work and a lot of fights we’re going to have to take on with respect to the Congress,″ Podesta said.

He rattled off the president’s desire to have Congress pass a patients’ rights bill, raise the minimum wage and approve investments for education.

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